Family: June 2008 Archives

Taps

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Chris's grandfather passed away Saturday morning. Chris was close to him as he grew up literally next door to his grandparents. I discussed it a bit on my radio show last night, wherein I annoyed myself a bit by breaking down and crying on air. I don't like crying in public, I don't like showing that sort of vulnerability and I'm uncomfortable around those who don't have such neurotic hang-ups. I've always grieved very privately and didn't cry at my own grandmother's funeral because I had it in my head that if I did it would make my grandfather sadder. A lot of people mistake this as a lack of sensitivity or an absent of intimacy with my emotions - I've been called "robotic" before. I feel just as much passion as the next guy; I just have a huge personal problem rooting through those emotions in public.

I specifically broke down when I talked about how when we visited his grandfather at the hospital, before he was sent home on hospice, how his grandmother stayed by his side and fed him, spooning ice cream into his mouth. My eyes were fixated on this scene. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year and she not only stuck by and waited for him while he traveled with his infantry to liberate France, she stayed by him as he took a year to recover from the wounds he sustained doing it. All these years later she was beside him again, tending to him, wholly devoted. It was such a testament to love and commitment, one that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can only pray that we are all so fortunate in our relationships. As his body was wheeled from his house after he passed, she continued to fuss over him, even stopping the funeral home workers at the door and asking if she could comb his hair one more time before he left the house forever. Only a great man who cares for his family and doted on his wife could invoke such adoration. She is understandably having a difficult time. I'm happy that he's had such a long, full life, that he was able to see two generations come from his union, that he was able to see some of his great-grandchildren grow. But my heart hurts for her and the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather-shaped gap left in the hearts of so many.

I finished all of my work this morning and am spending my afternoon ironing black slacks and dresses, pressing toddler-sized white dress shirts and shining occasion shoes. Ewan was born on the same day that my own grandfather died. I did not get any closure after his death and it has been a weight in my heart. My grandfather was buried will full military honors; Chris's grandfather will be as well. When the guns are fired and Taps is played at the funeral tomorrow it will take a monumental effort on my part to keep the dam from bursting.   


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